Salahi stylists testify in style


The couple, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, hit the headlines after they sauntered uninvited into the Nov 24 White House event, shook hands with both Obama and Manmohan Singh and had themselves photographed with several dignitaries.

Their Georgetown stylists' arrival at the federal courthouse here Tuesday morning for their grand jury testimony was no less dramatic.

Georgetown makeup artist Erwin Gomez, hair stylist Peggy Ioakim, salon CEO James Packard-Gomez - along with their attorney David Tobin - arrived at the front steps of the courthouse in a white Hummer limo, greeted by cameras and reporters as if they were arriving at a celebrity event.

After approximately an hour and a half of testimony, the style team re-emerged from the courthouse and spoke very briefly with the media, declining to comment on any specific details about what they told the grand jury, media reports said.

"They appeared before the grand jury and testified honestly and to the best of their ability," Tobin was quoted as saying by Politico. "Beyond that, we're not going to comment on the questions or the subject matter or any of that because Erwin and his salon do respect the confidentiality of their customers."

Packard-Gomez, however, revealed a bit more about subject matter in his statement to the media - specifically citing the White House - after sending "hugs" to supporters, it said.

"Erwin and I just really want to send out big hugs ... to all of you that have been so supportive. As you know and you have been reporting, this is a very stressful time for all, and it's a very much respected time that we have to show respect for the justice system, the White House, and everyone involved," he was quoted as saying.

Upon entering the courthouse earlier in the morning, Packard-Gomez, donning sunglasses and iPod earbuds, gave out business cards to reporters. Tobin tried to corral his clients to keep them from speaking what transpired in the hours leading up to the Salahis' appearance at the state dinner, Politico said.

The subpoena issued for Gomez and Ioakim does not specifically mention the Salahis. It says that the grand jury is investigating a possible violation of 18 USC 1001, a federal statute that covers lying to a government official.

As the stylists prepared to leave the microphones for the warm confines of the stretch Hummer, Gomez summed up the day's proceedings.  "I have never experienced it, and I will never forget it," he said.

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